April, 2009
Feature
Inspection News and Views from the American Society of Home Inspectors



Slow Times

BRIAN DUNBAR

Anyone remember what Charlie Brown’s teacher sounded like? Muwa, muwa mow, mwua mua. Ring a bell? What do you think real estate agents hear as a home inspector walks in the door to strike up a conversation? We all like to think folks love for us to come by for some chitchat, but we also wonder if we’ve made a lasting impression. What do you need to do to be heard during these slow times? Yell? Be flashy? How about, have some fun? Does that sound like something you can do?

The idea of having some fun came to me when I asked myself why I am in this business? My answer always has been to have fun at what I do. If that sounds familiar, maybe you’re asking yourself how you can have fun doing what you do in this slow economy. Maybe fun hasn’t been on your radar screen. Even so, you might give it a try by wearing a colorful or funny tie. I have one with bright orange chili peppers that always looks hot. A funny tie keeps it light and often helps start a conversation. You just may brighten someone’s day.

Maybe you’re a crazy person who’d be willing to rent a clown costume. That will get some serious attention and keep people talking. If you’re really crazy, why not wear a sandwich board with your company logo?

Ok, so maybe you’re not that crazy. How about hiring a clown to go along with you and attract attention? Then you are the one who gets the sympathy vote when the clown gets you with that squirting flower and rubber bat.

Silly ideas, aren’t they? Ever hear of other silly ideas? What about those crazy, do-something-stupid commercials? Or how about a really funny, laugh-out-loud commercial that gets a belly laugh from the person sitting next to you? We remember those commercials.

I brought this up with my chapter because I wanted to know what others were doing to create a buzz about their businesses. Things may be tough, but we are in this together and can learn from others’ ideas. We may not use a particular idea, but it gets us into our creative sides. I suggested we use our SNEC ASHI Web site to share those ideas. If we all start to get creative and throw around ideas, we may just make it through the interesting times ahead. If nothing else, we’ll get a good laugh from all the funny stories.

Nothing works better than laughter to get you through a tough time.

So, who will be the first one out there with a clown suit?